MKO Chiefs Special Assembly on Health January 2020

Press Release

The Chief’s Special Assembly on Health was held at the Kikiwak Inn in Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba on January 22 and 23, 2020. You can view and/or download the agenda from this event here. 

Opening remarks were given by Onekanew Christian Sinclair; MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee; Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas; Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) Grand Chief Jerry Daniels; Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Kevin Hart; and MKO’s Executive Director Kelvin Lynxleg. The emcee for the Chiefs’ Assembly was Kevin Carlson.

Presentations were given by Chief Larson Anderson of Norway House Cree Nation, MKO Clinical Care Transformation (CCT) program manager Sharon McKay, and Kelvin Lynxleg on the governance, operations and the transition of MKO Health Programs to Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin

Attendees also heard from CCT staff members Dr. Barry Lavallee, Caroline Chartrand, and Joni Wilson about linking Northern First Nations early clinical successes with future planning. Updates on their respective programs were given by the MKO program managers Justin Courchene of the Mobile Crisis Response Team, Duke Beardy of the Traditional Healing Program, and Bernice Thorassie, MKO’s Client Navigator.

Chief Clarence Easter of the Chemawawin Cree Nation and Ken Mackenzie, Director of Health Services provided a presentation called “CCT First Nations Initiatives & Innovations: Natawiwewak Medical Clinic,” and Health Director Glen Ross spoke on his presentation called “CCT First Nations Initiatives & Innovations: Opaskwayak Health Authority.”

Melanie MacKinnon, Senior Health Advisor at the AMC, presented the entitled “Wahbung: Our Tomorrows Imagined.”

Debbie Reid, Director of Health Transformation at the SCO, spoke on health transformation and Southern First Nations.

Representatives of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) in Ontario attended the Chiefs’ Special Assembly on health, with former National Chief Ovide Mercredi reporting on NAN’s health transformation. Another presentation was given by NAN Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau and NAN’s Social Services Director Bobby Narcisse on a “National Remoteness Quotient Strategy on Child Welfare.”

From the Northern Health Region, the assembly was informed about community health assessments by Dr. Michael Isaac, Medical Officer of Health; Kara Kozar, Planning and Decision Support Analyst; Charlene Lafreniere, Chief Indigenous Officer; and Joy Tetlock, Vice-President of Planning and Population Health.

Pam Smith, the Regional Executive Officer of Indigenous Services Canada gave an update on health transformation at the federal level.


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